River North Dance Chicago in Tulsa Saturday, Sunday
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1/18/13 at 3:20 PM
This story originally contained an incorrect phone number. The story has been corrected.
For more than two decades, River North Dance Chicago has been all about jazz.
"We're a very jazz dance-based company," said Sara Bibik, who was one of the founding members of the company. "What we mean by that is we try to present dances that require of the performers a certain level of emotional intensity.
"Our dancers all have a great deal of training in other dance styles, and are very technically proficient," Bibik said. "But what we work toward is using all those technical things to really get across the humanity of dance, to make that emotional connection."
Bibik danced with River North Dance for 10 years, and now serves as the company's workshop director and assistant to its artistic director Frank Chaves.
The 13-member company will make its Oklahoma debut this weekend, under the auspices of Choregus Productions.
"We're based in Chicago," Bibik said, "but we only perform here about two or three times a year. Most of our performances are done on tour, both here and internationally."
The company has worked with such choreographers as Daniel Ezralow and Lynne Taylor-Corbitt, both of whom are best known for their work in such Broadway productions as "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and "Swing!", as well as the dances Chaves creates.
Six pieces, ranging from solos to full-company works, will make up the program for the company's Tulsa performances.
"Many of the pieces are quite new," Bibik said. "One is called 'The Good Goodbye,' which Frank choreographed to an original piano score by Josephine Lee. It's about the way people come in and move out of our lives, and how some good-byes aren't really that sad, because they represent changes for the good for both sides.
"Another is Adam Barruch's 'I Close My Eyes Until the End,'" she said. "It presents a gentle look at human relationships, which is balanced by Frank's 'Forbidden Boundaries.' This is a more aggressive piece, with the dancers in the very elastic white costumes that become a part of the dance itself."
The evening will also include two solo pieces - "Beat," for a male dancer and set to a percussion-heavy score by choreographer Ashley Roland; and "Renatus (Rebirth)" by Nejla Yatkin, for a solo female - and a work created by tango dancers and choreographers Sabrina and Ruben Veliz.
In addition to the regular performances, the River North company will be presenting two other events while in Tulsa. On Friday, the company will perform a special show for students.
"It's kind of a history lesson, told through jazz music and dance," Bibik said. "We go through each decade of the 20th century, showing how changes in society is reflected in the music and the dance styles of that time."
The other special event is something unique to Tulsa - the chance to get a very personal look into the life and work of River North Dance.
Those who sign up for the "Total Dance Immersion Experience" will be able to participate in a master class conducted by company members, have lunch the dancers, attend a talk and Q&A session, view the tech rehearsal and attend one of the two main performances.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $70 for adults, $50 for students, and includes the cost of lunch. To register for the Total Dance Immersion Experience, call 918-688-6112.
"Normally, we would do the student show and maybe a master class when we visit a city," Bibik said. "But this is the first time we've ever done anything like this. It was something that Ken (Tracy of Choregus Productions) came up with, and we thought it was a great opportunity."
RIVER NORTH DANCE CHICAGO
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cascia Hall PAC, 2525 S. Yorktown
Tickets: $15-$50. 918-622-6112, tulsaworld.com/mytix.
Original Print Headline: The art of dance
James D. Watts Jr 918-581-8478
River North Dance Chicago Courtesy